The Alhambra passes the ëRonsealí test with flying colours. Thatís to say itís a perfect example of a car excelling in what it sets out to do, which in this case is to deliver seven-seat practicality. We donít have five children, and yet we have used all seven seats twice in the past couple of weeks alone, creating a party bus vibe on the way to football training or matches. We may think that MPVs are uncool, but kids love the panoramic sunroof, the seat-back tables and the sliding doors, not to mention the chance to be with their mates. The electric sliding doors are, without question, the Alhambraís killer app. Personally, I get a huge amount of satisfaction operating the doors via the key fob, presenting the children with a chance to dive for cover when itís raining. The electric tailgate can be operated remotely, too, which acts like an impromptu awning when youíre removing coats and changing shoes. And because the seats are leather, theyíre quick to dry out and easy to clean, which, as any footballing parent will testify, makes life so much easier.
Itís a little harder to remove dried mud from the carpets, but vacuuming the rear carpet mats did reveal a pair of underfloor storage boxes I hadnít previously noticed. Perfect for hiding mobile phones, tablets and anything else you want to keep away from prying eyes. Just yesterday, I was delighted to discover that the boxes are the perfect size for a 13-inch MacBook Air. Not that youíre ever likely to find yourself short of space in an Alhambra. Sure, with all the seats in use, youíre left with just 267 litres of luggage capacity ñ roughly the same as a Suzuki Swift supermini ñ but because thereís a deep recess behind the third row of seats, you can cram a surprising amount of paraphernalia into the space. With the third row stored away ñ the seats can be folded independently ñ the boot offers 658 litres of space, which is more than Baxter the dog is used to. Itís so nice to be able to chuck everything into the boot without running through a Tetris-like thought process as to how youíre going to cram everything in. Furthermore, converting the Alhambra from a five- to seven-seater, and then back again, is a doddle, thanks to an easy folding mechanism.
The only real cause for complaint (so far) is the fuel economy, with the on-test average of 36.1mpg someway short of the 53.3mpg NEDC official figure, though closer to the 39.2 to 41.5mpg WLTP combined range figure. In fairness to the SEAT, the engine is still new, and the Alhambra has been used almost entirely for short trips. Things should improve next month, as I have a few long journeys to complete. Fingers crossed.
Date arrived 14th January 2019
Fuel economy 39.2-41.5mpg (WLTP combined) 36.1mpg (on test)
The underfloor storage is perfecting for hiding my 13-inch MacBook.
There’s room for improvement when it comes to fuel economy.